Maintain pipes. Insulate pipes most susceptible to freezing, such as those close to outer walls, crawl spaces or in the attic. Seal leaks that allow cold air in where pipes are located. In freezing temperatures, let faucets drip overnight. Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to reach uninsulated pipes under the sink or near an outer wall. If pipes freeze, shut off water to prevent pipes from bursting. Call a plumber. Do not try to thaw a pipe with an open flame.

Check heating systems. Have a professional inspect and tune it each year. When using a kerosene heater, use only the fuel recommended; open an interior door or crack a window for ventilation to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide.

Have your chimney and flue checked and cleaned if necessary. Open the flue when burning a fire and use a sturdy screen. Never burn paper or pine needles, which can float out of the chimney and catch fire.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
University of Illinois Extension